Conditioning a Horse for Show?
 
 

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Conditioning a Horse for Show?

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  • Getting your horse in show condition
  • Do i need a full body sweat mini horse

 
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    12-13-2011, 11:22 PM
  #1
Foal
Conditioning a Horse for Show?

I have an older mare (Nine years old in 2012) that I would like to show next spring/summer in some local halter/showmanship. I'm not expecting us to win or anything, I'm just doing it for fun and to get her out there. In the past she was a broodmare and this is her first open year since 2004. (She was 1st bred in 2005 thru 2010 for a 2011 filly)

As we don't have any intact males we don't have to worry about any foals being born.

Obviously, we have some *ahem* weight issues to deal with in the belly region. I know this has been discussed on here before, but it has decreased in size since I last posted about her. The last time I posted about her was in July, and we had just started on jumps then. The belly is not caused by fat from what I can tell, because even when she was WAY underweight in 2010 she still had the belly. We're thinking that she stretched her pre-pubic tendon. My vet has noticed this as well, but we have not yet had a full conversation about it. We usually get too preoccupied with what ever we're working on to discuss it...and then she leaves and THEN I think about the belly. Sometime I need to actually remember to ask her about it, probably after I clip her.

I'm wondering if you guys could give me some tips on how to condition her for shows. (Just a few)

I had been working her on jumps some and it seems to have been doing well. I actually need to make some more because I only have one. I have been informed that it could actually be bad to only use one! So, I'll be making more.

I have also been interested in using cavaletti for her to build some muscle and in between the jumps. (alternating between jump and cavaletti)

I was hoping to break her to drive, but I don't think we'll be that far in her floatings and I haven't yet found a good harness in my price range.

I will have to make another thread about this, but I have been wondering about lunging. We're both having some issues with it, because I don't know what I'm doing and she's scared of the whip. So....she's usually fleeing in a circle from the lunge whip. I haven't tried to lunge her since October. I would like to learn how to lunge her, but I don't have anybody that could help me around me. I'm kind of at a loss in this. ANY help would be appreciated....along with pics.

What do you guys think about sweats? I've been thinking about using a sweat like this on her: Miniature Horse Full Body Lined Sweat Minitack.com

Any help would be awesome!

Pic (October 2011)



EDIT: I'm sorry if this doesn't go in this section. Sorry!
     
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    12-17-2011, 10:40 PM
  #2
Foal
HI :) I've had quite a few things in my barn from mini's to thoroughbreds and everything in between. I get horses in for training and show conditioning and I promise that it's not going to be as hard as you think it will be to slim your little mare down. For starters, smaller horses don't need NEAR as much grain as you think they do; my 34" mini mare gets 1 flake in the morning, 1 flake mid day, and 1 flake at supper time of good quality hay per day during show season (she's actually heavily show in carting/showmanship) and she does really well on that. No grain at all haha next, the best way to fit any horse is long trotting. Lunging is a beautiful thing and im not sure about your climate this time of year but here in ohio, it gets pretty nippy and snow stormy so when I work my horses, I get there and get it done. Warm them up for a few with walking and just stretching then let them jog, moving into an extended trot for a solid 10 minutes each way. This will start buiilding them up without making them to sore or injuring muscles and such. When the weather is more favorable, you can subsitute some lunge time with the training time for showmanship so they're mentally as well as physically stimulated (actually pretty important..) your mare's so cute, you guys will be amazing!!!! Best of luck :)
     
    12-17-2011, 10:56 PM
  #3
Started
Your mare is cute ....but I don't think you are going to have much luck tucking up that belly enough to be showing in halter.Agree that she has a pubic tendon issue going on there . Afraid The droopy belly is not going away with excercise/fitting.
     
    12-18-2011, 12:44 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyLoper    
HI :) I've had quite a few things in my barn from mini's to thoroughbreds and everything in between. I get horses in for training and show conditioning and I promise that it's not going to be as hard as you think it will be to slim your little mare down. For starters, smaller horses don't need NEAR as much grain as you think they do; my 34" mini mare gets 1 flake in the morning, 1 flake mid day, and 1 flake at supper time of good quality hay per day during show season (she's actually heavily show in carting/showmanship) and she does really well on that. No grain at all haha next, the best way to fit any horse is long trotting. Lunging is a beautiful thing and im not sure about your climate this time of year but here in ohio, it gets pretty nippy and snow stormy so when I work my horses, I get there and get it done. Warm them up for a few with walking and just stretching then let them jog, moving into an extended trot for a solid 10 minutes each way. This will start buiilding them up without making them to sore or injuring muscles and such. When the weather is more favorable, you can subsitute some lunge time with the training time for showmanship so they're mentally as well as physically stimulated (actually pretty important..) your mare's so cute, you guys will be amazing!!!! Best of luck :)
Iowa weather I think is a lot like Ohio.

We're actually having some difficulties with lunging. I can't get her to do anything by run frantically around in a circle. She's scared to death of the whip, which I don't use for anything but pointing. I have to desensitize her to the whip first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paintedpastures    
Your mare is cute ....but I don't think you are going to have much luck tucking up that belly enough to be showing in halter.Agree that she has a pubic tendon issue going on there . Afraid The droopy belly is not going away with excercise/fitting.

I had figured so, but we're hoping to do showmanship and halter just for fun. I don't show to win or anything. Just for experience.

I was very surprised to find out that since I started jumping her that her belly had started to shrink. I've heard mixed views on the belly and whether or not exercise will help it. Honestly, it doesn't bother me and I just want her to get muscle on her which cavaletti, jumps, and lunging should help with.

Here's a picture of her from September 2010 with her April 2010 colt:



And September 2011:


It just goes shows you that her belly wasn't fat related. Both years as well she had a foal by her side (born same day but a full year apart as well!)

Nor is it worm related because I have her on a routine worming schedule.


@LazyLoper, since you live in Ohio I thought I would ask you a question. I don't have a round pen and with winter on our tail would it be safe to lunge her in a pasture with snow on the ground?
     
    12-18-2011, 01:01 PM
  #5
Foal
On the topic a stretched pre-pubic tendon, I have tried to read up on it since August 2010 but have never found anything that was remotely close to my mare. All I ever find are articles on ruptured pre-pubic tendons.
     
    12-18-2011, 05:56 PM
  #6
Green Broke
I have a riding mare that was used as a broodmare for years. She has a permanent belly too, although not quite a much as your girl! It's not fat related either, it is from all those foals stretching things out down there.

What I find does help is to put her on smaller meals and not free-choice hay. With free-choice hay (which actually she is on now) she always looks pregnant. If I cut her back to actual meals then her gut looks less huge.

But there are health benefits to free-choice hay too, so I'm not sure it's not better for the horse even if they look like a pregnant cow.

So other than cutting back on the amount of roughage (not the quality, actually smaller amounts of high quality hay would be better) there is not much to be done.

My mare would actually just start showing ribs while still having a huge belly, so I know the feeling! But I have learned to ignore the belly and judge the top line to get a feel for how "fat" she is.
     
    12-19-2011, 02:09 AM
  #7
Foal
As long as its a relativly flat area, I lunge all the time in my snow covered pasture! More power to you :) with the whip ordeal, try a smaller almost riding crop, something so that she knows its there but not nearly as scary as a full blown lunge whip
     

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